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Posted in General
What are your rights or responsibilities if you find a stray dog or cat? How can you find its owner or what if you want to keep it?
- Microchips with current contact details are vital in reuniting pets with their owners. Make sure your pet’s microchip details are up to date! Contact Central Animal Records to change your details if required, or contact us if you are not sure whether your pet has a microchip.
- Legislation states that stray animals must go to the council or shelter as soon as possible. Alternatively, you can bring them to us and we can attempt to contact both the owner and council for you. If they are injured please bring them to your closest vet clinic where they will be assessed and the council also contacted for you.
- Their microchip will be scanned so that their owner can be contacted. Scanning the pet’s microchip is the single most effective way of reuniting a pet with their owner.
- Unclaimed animals, or animals with no microchip, go to the pound in Cranbourne for a waiting period of at least 8 days in case their owner is looking for them in person.
- If unclaimed after the waiting period, they go to the Lost Dogs Home to be desexed, microchipped, vaccinated and wormed before being adopted out. If the stray you found has still not been claimed by their owner by this stage, it is now that you can adopt them legally.
- It is illegal and unfair for you to keep a stray animal that you find without going through the proper channels and you can be fined for doing so. This system is in place for the welfare of the animals, and maximises the chance of families being reunited with their pets.
- It is more efficient and effective for the pet to have its microchip scanned as soon as possible rather than attempting to find the owner yourself by walking around the neighbourhood or putting up posters.
- If you have lost a pet, make sure you contact the local council and your local vet clinic. It is also advisable to visit the AAPS animal shelter and the Cranbourne pound in person to look for your pet. Also walk around your local neighbourhood and search their favourite places in case they have been injured nearby.
- Our local council, Greater Dandenong, is here to help. Of the approximately 600 stray dogs they pick up annually,76% are returned to their owner (15% the same day). Of dogs that are not reunited with their families, approximately 40% are rehomed.
- Adult cats are less likely to be returned as many people do not consider the neighbourhood moggy, who comes by for dinner every day, to be ‘their’ cat, or they assume that the cat has ‘found another home’. When these cats go missing, people rarely look for them, and they are rarely have microchips. Visit Who’s for Cats for more information.
Further information on the Domestic Animals Act can be found by clicking here.
Contact Greater Dandenong Council here.